Leader's Casual Furniture Accelerates Operations and Increases Strategic Projects Using Wrike and G Suite
Established in 1971, Leader's Casual Furniture began as a single modest showroom in St. Petersburg, Florida, and has grown to 19 showrooms across the state with a 150,000 square foot distribution center and online shopping website.
Leader's Furniture uses Wrike to manage operational support services across their 19 showrooms and distribution center
Teams use Wrike to manage store and warehouse-level service requests, including IT & help desk, assembly & repair, maintenance, support, supplies, and more.
Before Wrike, Leader's Furniture used email to manage operational requests, making it a challenge to track all of the requests. "If you get an email, you might forget about it," says Olson. "And then you have to look through it, and it might be 10-20 pages down."
Justin Buser, Director of Information Technology and Daniel Olson, Developer, decided to pursue a cloud technology strategy and acquire a project management system. They compared multiple systems, and ultimately chose Wrike because it offered more functionality, particularly an online Gantt chart and built-in monitoring and reporting tools.
Combining Wrike with G Suite helped Leader's accelerate the resolution of service tickets, freeing up more time for strategic projects
The Leader's team integrated many connections between G Suite and Wrike, including OAuth, to enable employees to: use the same credentials across systems, link Google Sheets and Docs to tasks, use the Gmail integration to create Wrike tasks from within Gmail, and use the Google Calendar integration to track start and end dates.
Shifting to Wrike and G Suite reduced the administrative burden on the team, while providing more tools for employees to manage their work and find answers to questions. This, in turn, reduced the complexity of IT operations maintenance needs.
For example, the team recently freed up enough time to implement a new VOIP phone system throughout their showrooms and distribution center.
Centralized, searchable knowledge base for issues & resolutions
Not only do issues get captured quickly instead of getting lost, but Wrike provides a long-term searchable Knowledge Base for all related issues, resolutions, and outcomes across their locations. Issues don't fall through the cracks, but can be tracked and reported on for the long haul vs. eventually getting lost in email over time.
"It's nice that it's searchable so if someone was looking to see if there was a past issue, they can find it and pair it to this current issue to see if it can help in some way," says Olson. "That's something you just couldn't do with Gmail alone. We can go to Management later and say here are some of the problems we were having and how we've solved them. We've shown an improvement."
Tracking status of collaborative projects
Teams use Wrike tasks to manage projects involving collaboration in Google Docs or Sheets, assigning owners, checking off who has completed their components by a specific deadline.
"It's nice having two forms of tracking. If I have a sheet, I'll say please update this, but also keep an eye on the Wrike task. It's a place to put it so everyone knows where it is, rather than just giving everyone access to the sheet. Wrike keeps us all on task in that way," says Olson.
Request forms and auto-assignment improve service ticket management
The IT team uses many different Request Forms to structure inbound work across multiple teams including distribution, showroom IT, phone system support, website changes, and repairs. The forms have helped teams accelerate resolutions because all necessary fields are submitted with the original request, and tasks are automatically assigned - reducing back and forth and waiting time. All submissions are tracked in a consistent way in Wrike, making it easy to look up status and resolutions.
"We assign a task to the Knowledge Base project when there is information that will be useful and required more than once, as an example, how to install a piece of new software. This way it stays in the request but also is now part of the Knowledge Base. From there we may also make and attach a Google doc to the task."
Olson's team also likes the ability to change a collection of tasks into a project, as needed. "We found that Wrike was nice because you could take those tasks and turn them into bigger projects," says Olson.